12 December 2011
Pizza is an oven-baked, flat, disc-shaped bread that has different toppings. The obligatory ingredients are tomato sauce and cheese. But nowadays there are also lots of pizza recipes without cheese and tomato sauce. Today pizza is a traditional Italian dish but similar food we can find in many world cuisines.
Pizza is baked and sold in pizzerias and restaurants. But everyone could make it at home. There are recipes of meat pizza, vegetarian pizza, seafood pizza, and even sweet pizza (some kind of dessert).
Origin of pizza
Actually, some kind of pizza was cooked in the Persian Empire (6th Century B.C.) when the soldiers of Darius the Great baked flat bread (with cheese and dates on the top) on their shields.
Later we find similar dish in ancient Roman cuisine. They used a base of bread and put different ingredients (chicken meat, cheese, pine kernels, garlic, pepper, mint, and oil) on its top.
But the first simple pizza, as we know it, was firstly cooked only in 16th Century (1522) in Europe. When first tomatoes were brought to Europe, poorer people of Naples used them to make a topping for a yeast dough. Then they baked that. It was pretty like a present-day pizza. In Italy also first pizzerias were opened. Before this pizza was sold in the streets. It was cut from a large tray. Everyone could buy a piece of pizza for breakfast, dinner or supper.
By the 17th Century, not only local popularity in Naples liked pizza, tourists and guests of the country bought and ate it either. Pizza dough was made and pizza was baked in many countries like France, Mediterranean countries, and even China and Middle East. But recipes varied.
Nowadays people all over the world like, cook and eat pizza. There are thousands of pizzerias in different countries, where visitors order meat, veggie, seafood pizza, and also sweet pizza desserts.
What should you know about pizza
The bottom of the pizza is usually flat, but it can be thin (traditional Roman pizza) or thick (Chicago-style pizza). Also it can have round, square, rectangular or oval form. Pizza dough is usually plain, but some chefs season it with herbs or stuff with cheese.
There are different methods of baking pizza: in the electric or brick oven, on the hot stones, on a barbecue grill and so on.
Ingredients that are used in pizza preparation are: olive oil, olives, cheese, meat (chicken, pork etc.), fish, shellfish, tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, chillies, nutmeg, different spices and herbs (oregano, mint, pepper, marjoram, basil, parsley, thymes, sage and so on), fruit, nuts.
There are different recipes of making pizza but you can think out your own – just take the ingredients you like (or you have) and prepare a topping, use any sauce you like, and bake pizza.
Here are some pizza recipes